Every generation entering the company’s workforce brings its own challenges for the HR team, requiring an introduction of new strategies in terms of recruiting, retaining, L&D, and internal dynamics management. The latest workforce age group getting on board is the so-called Generation Z (also known as Gen Z, Gen Zers, the iGeneration, or post-Millennials), composed of those born after 1995. According to a Bloomberg research, by the end of 2019 this cohort of workers will be already larger than the Millennials – and, comprising roughly 32% of the global population, they are the first ones that don’t know the world without the Internet.
Generation Z grew up in times of the Web 2.0 era development. They are used to online communication and are commonly referred to as digital natives. Consequently, they usually have a strong visual perception and are gifted with a good command of multitasking. It’s fair to say that Gen Z is swiftly taking the HR spotlight and is anticipated to enrich the job market with an unprecedented online business intuition and excellent tech skills level. So, what do you need to know about this disruptive employees’ group?
How Generation Z is different from the others
“Each generation comes with a unique set of behaviours and presents a unique set of challenges for those looking to reach them,” as said in the report by research firm Nielsen Holdings Plc. “Gen Z are bombarded with messages and are a generation that can quickly detect whether or not something is relevant to them.” They are experts in everything Internet-related and are aware of the online pitfalls. Many pieces of research state that, despite their digital native nature, post-Millennials love offline human connection and person-to-person contact. Generation Z is also not afraid of failures, they see it as learning opportunities. Having witnessed their families struggle in times of the Great Recession, they also praise stability, independence, and self-reliance. Being highly educated, tech-savvy and genuinely innovative, they appreciate personalization and a ratherindividual approachin almost everything. That is not easy to get their attention, and it should be considered in your recruitment process.
So which effects do these characteristics have on your recruiting and retaining practices? How to attract this age group and satisfy it in the post-hire period?
- Be aware of how Generation Z approaches the job search:
When it comes to finding a job, Generation Z is looking for trusted resources both online and offline, which is quite curious for a digital native breed. The most common ways post-Millennials search for jobs are several: asking friends and family, consulting with someone they already know who works at the company (and here it is important to foster your employee advocacy), browsing the company websites and social media, and using a job search website. Work well on all fronts, consider creating a worthwhile employee referral program, set a strong employee brand on social media, work hard on your job position description – and it will all pay off.
- Generation Z expects a great candidate experience:
The new workers’ wave wants the job application process to be quick, seamless, and transparent. They’re not wishing to take just any job there is on the market – in fact, Gen Zers evaluate the company just as much as the company is evaluating them. They expect to get meaningful feedback during the application and the interviewing process, so responding promptly and assuring greater transparency throughout the hiring process is becoming fundamental for the HR side.
- They need their jobs to be meaningful and impactful for the world:
Most of the post-Millennials want to affect the planet and society through their work: they look for careers that allow them to solve big problems, be innovative and useful. To address this generation’s goodwill, you need to underline the company’s mission and goals, charity initiatives, and your positive impact on both local and global communities.
- The new generation is concerned about future stability – assure them it is taken care of:
Generation Z is famously sceptical about the future, they remain risk-averse and attribute an enormous value to security and stability. Take that into account: you are the provider of the essentials like wages and insurance, and it’s your task to help them feel safe and motivated. If your organization plans to modify reimbursement policies, insurance, or other benefits – provide Generation Z with all the information they need, take extra steps to communicate changes early and comprehensively and let your staff be constantly updated on the process.
- Promote diversity and inclusion:
Generation Z sees the work ethic, diversity and work-life balance as their main priorities, hence HR strategies should be adapted accordingly. As many as 77% of Gen Z say that a company’s level of diversity affects their decision to work there. Nurture your inclusive corporate culture and never treat it as a thoughtless quota filling: the new cohort correlates diversity with a company’s forward-thinking mindset and is able to distinguish whether you really share those values or just turn it to good account.
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